TULSA, OK – [December 27, 2018] – New Year resolutions to lose weight or get fit are nothing new, though simple changes to routine will boost your health and overall well-being. Tulsa Health Department encourages Tulsa County residents to add the following tips to their resolution list for better health.
Make an appointment for a checkup, vaccination or screening. Regular exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. THD has several clinics at convenient locations to help you keep on top of your health status.
“You are never too old for immunizations,” said Ellen Niemitalo, immunizations manager. “During your clinic visit, ask the nurse if other vaccines are recommended such as shingles, Tdap and pneumonia. And always get your flu shot yearly.”
Wash your hands often with soap and water to prevent the spread of infection and illness. Handwashing involves five simple and effective steps – wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry. Handwashing also helps from spreading germs such as the flu. Getting a flu shot from a THD immunization clinic is the best prevention against the flu.
Make healthy food choices. A healthy eating plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. It also includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts, and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
Get active. Adults who do just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week reduce their risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes – medical conditions that disproportionately affect Oklahomans. A brisk walk, casual bike ride, and water aerobics are examples of moderate exercise, which the CDC defines as activity that raises the heart rate and can cause one to break a sweat.
“Some tips for increasing activity are: start out slowly if you’re just getting started on a fitness program, set smaller yet realistic goals, participate in an activity that’s fun – dancing counts, consider joining a group or asking a friend to commit with you,” said Connie Berson, THD Wellness Coordinator.
Children and teens are also encouraged to be active at least 60 minutes every day to get or remain healthy.
“We encourage parents to Be the Big Kid with their kids,” said Leanne Stephens, marketing and communications director. “The best chance they have to leading active, healthy lives is to learn from you. And being active with your kids doesn’t require fancy athletic wear or a costly gym membership. It can be as simple as an impromptu dance party during a TV commercial or a quick game of tag in the backyard.”
Be smoke free. Oklahoma now has more former smokers than current ones, and they used a variety of strategies and resources to quit, including the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for English or 1-855-DEJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) for Spanish-speaking callers, or visit online at OKhelpline.com. This program offers free quit coaching and free patches, gum or lozenges.
Get enough sleep. Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions—such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Adults need seven or more hours per night.
“Manage your stress levels by getting enough sleep and taking short breaks throughout the day,” added Berson. “Don’t overschedule or overcommit.”
Tulsa Health Department
Since its establishment in 1950, the Tulsa Health Department serves as the primary public health agency to more than 600,000 Tulsa County residents, including 13 municipalities and four unincorporated areas. The agency is one of two autonomous local health departments in Oklahoma, with statutory public health jurisdiction throughout Tulsa County and the City of Tulsa. THD’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of all Tulsa County residents, in order to make Tulsa County the healthiest county in the country. THD was among the first health departments in the U.S. to receive national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board. For more information, please visit www.tulsa-health.org.